Consulting a Certified Athletic Trainer

With the rise in the number of youth participating in competitive sports at younger ages, issues of training, safety and common injury prevention are important to consider.

What is a certified athletic trainer?

The athletic trainer is a major link between the athletic program and the medical community for the implementation of injury preventative measures, emergency care and injury management. Ideally, every organized sports program should have an athletic trainer certified with the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) on staff. The major responsibilities of an athletic trainer include:

  1. Common injury prevention
  2. Injury recognition and evaluation
  3. Injury management or treatment and disposition
  4. Injury rehabilitation
  5. Program organization and administration
  6. Education and counseling


    Will Utsey ATCWill Utsey’s life is sports. He can be found most days at Wheeler High School in Marietta, Ga., where he’s a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) in the Sports Medicine Program at Children’s. While he has no children of his own, he considers his kids to be the 350 teen student athletes he works with. 

    Join him for a typical day during football season.


What are the benefits of working with a certified athletic trainer?

All Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta athletic trainers are NATA certified and strive to further the profession's role in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of movement dysfunctions and the enhancement of the physical health and functional abilities of youth athletes. Below are some additional advantages that a NATA certified athletic trainer can bring to any athletic program:

  • Set up and carry out a program of conditioning for athletes
  •  Administer first aid to injured athletes
  • Facilitate ambulance transport
  • Apply protective or injury-preventive devices, such as taping, bandaging or bracing
  • Advise about equipment purchases
  • Supervise the fitting of protective equipment
  • Conduct athletic training clinics and workshops
  • Ensure that athletes receive proper care for their injuries
  • Monitor temperature and humidity to ensure the safety of athletes
  • Use a thorough knowledge of human anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and biomechanics to properly assess an injury
  • Establish goals and criteria for recovery after an injury, in addition to objectively measuring when the goals have been achieved

What if my child's school doesn't have a certified athletic trainer?

Below are several ways that parents can encourage their child's school to recruit an ATC certified athletic trainer:

  • Ask your athletic director and/or school principal. Find out if the school budget allows for a trainer. An adequate training room is expensive and may require a different allocation of money within the department.
  • Inquire to the Board of Education.
  • Contact a sports medicine clinic in your area and ask about a potential partnership with your school.
  • Be sure to find an expert or participant that specializes in youth athletes. Youth athletes are much different than adults and, therefore, require a different type of conditioning tailored to their specific needs.

If you have any additional questions about certified athletic trainers or recruitment, please contact Harold King, Manager  Community Outreach.